Every culture has valued storytelling since the beginning of time.
Look at Hollywood. Hollywood is a billion dollar a year industry. What does Hollywood do best? Hollywood and Bollywood movies tell stories. A blockbuster or an independent film is at its core a story.
You, like Hollywood, can increase your value when you can effectively tell your story. Everyone has a story to tell. The problem is that often you don’t tell the right story and you don’t use it well. Your story is your competitive edge. It is your responsibility to:
- Correctly identify your story
- Communicate it concisely and effectively
- Protect your story by connecting the dots. Connect the story to your audience and connect the story to a lesson of some kind.
Just as a speech is a mathematical formula at its core, so is a story.
Let’s go over the math. As much as I don’t like math- any speech –PowerPoint included is a mathematical formula at its core. FYI all communication including meetings are a mathematical formula at their core.
Let’s say you have 20 minutes. Your intro needs to be 10-15% of the length of your speech. Let’s say 3 minutes. Your conclusion should be 15-20% of your speech. Let’s say 4 minutes. That is 7 minutes of your speech leaving you 13 minutes for the body.
If a story takes 10 minutes, that leaves you 3 minutes for everything else. Can you say something of importance about each main point in one minute?
3 Steps to Connect Your Dots:
- Take the scalpel of clarity to your story. Edit edit edit.
- Get to the lesson in your story quickly. There are many good stories that you can tell. It has to be more than a good story.
- It is your job to connect the lesson to the story and to connect the story to the audience. It is not the job of the audience to “get it”. You have to do the work to connect, connect, connect.
It’s your job to select the appropriate story, learn how to tell your story, and connect the dots to get your desired results: move your agenda forward. Learn how to edit your story so that it will help you communicate your competitive edge. Then you and Hollywood will really have something in common.
Read more posts by Leslie Ungar here. Leslie blogs for JenningsWire.
JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicity Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book marketing strategies to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major top city radio talk shows that broadcast to the heart of the market, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers.